Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car!

By Diane Hernandez

Even if you’re in a hurry, please reconsider leaving your pet alone in a car — it could save a life. 


Each year, hundreds of animals die after owners leave them behind naively thinking that a few minutes won’t hurt anyone. And despite cracking a window, pets that are left behind suffer from heat exhaustion and even death. 


It’s a very real threat that can hurt your furry best friend and your family. 


Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, vomiting and a deep red or purple tongue. Owners should immediately call a veterinarian and offer the animal water if they suspect heat exhaustion. 


This happens because temperatures inside a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.  The longer you take, the worse it gets for your pet. 


So, if the sun is pounding and the weather says it’s 90 degrees outside, 10 minutes alone could lead to 110-degree heat inside your car. 


Cracking a window won’t make a difference either. The car heats up at the exact same rate with or without an open window, according to the AVMA.


And, unfortunately, most pets are susceptible to heat exhaustion. Dogs are especially susceptible, according to the American Kennel Club.  Owners of canines with smaller snouts like pugs and bulldogs should especially keep an eye out for heat exhaustion because those dogs can’t pant correctly. 


As an owner, leaving your pet at home is the best way to prevent any type of harm. If your fur baby is a bit wild at home, you can buy a kennel or cage to keep them from causing trouble while you shop for groceries.


A few minutes away from your pet is okay — they’ll stay safer at home and wait for you to return. You’ll hear a happy chirp or see a tail wagging when you get home — that’s much better than rushing to a veterinarian. 


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